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João Franco Just Achieved the Yachting Milestone He's Been Waiting For: "FINALLY!!!"

"I’m so effing glad and grateful," the Below Deck Med alum said.

Joao Franco Milestone Below Deck

It's a good day to be João Franco. The Below Deck Mediterranean alum just received a major yachting certification he has been hard at work on.

João shared the happy news that he successfully passed his officer of the watch exam in a post on Instagram on April 6. "Another milestone. Another accomplishment. FINALLY!!!" João couldn't help but gush in the post. "With so many obstacles, It’s taken so long to get this ticket but I’m so effing glad and grateful for the people who believed in me and helped me through this stage of my life." 

He went on to thank many of the people who helped him along the way, including his friends and family. "Upwards and onwards," João wrote in the post before ending with some words of wisdom. "If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right."

The Instagram post is tagged in South Africa, where João is currently based, and shows the yachtie looking dapper in a suit with a big smile on his face after passing his officer of the watch exam. Bravolebs from the world of Below Deck and beyond congratulated João in the comments, including Captain Glenn Shephard, Kasey Cohen, Mercedes "MJ" Javid, Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi, and Colin Macy-O'Toole, who also shared in his Instagram Story, "Proud of you buddy!!"

After landing his first captain gig at the end of Below Deck Med Season 4, João went on to work as a captain on a 30-meter yacht for about a year-and-a-half, he told Captain Glenn during an Instagram Live chat in March.

However, as he prepared to take his officer of the watch exam at the time, João was looking to make a bit of a career move. "I've decided to take a step back, do my officer of the watch. My NOE [Notice of Eligibility] has just come through, because I needed the sea time, so I managed just to scrape through," João told Captain Glenn. "I'm gonna do my exam in a month, and then I'm gonna most likely head back to Europe and look for a job on a sailboat."

After working as a captain, João said that he hoped to learn from someone else on a bigger vessel once he passed his officer of the watch exam. "I would like some experience under an experienced captain. I do know, with all due respect to many out there, I'm able to take on a position, but I'm more wanting to learn from a captain rather than to be a captain right now," he said. "If I could get a next position on a bigger boat, I will do it for a year. I'll get my master 500 [license]. I'll do it for another year, and then I'll get my 3000 [license], and then I'm on the top. So that's the plan."

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